Lebanon’s Beiteddine Festival 2001 is once again preparing to present a varied program of the highest international standard. This annual cultural treat will open on July 7 with a performance by British pop icon Elton John, in what the festival’s organizers call “a one night only,” event according to thisiscyberia.com
Performing on stage with the piano as his sole companion, Elton John will sing a selection of his most famous songs, including oldies like “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” “I’m Still Standing” and more recent tunes from the “Lion King” soundtrack and the Aida musical currently on Broadway.
On July 13, Turkish flautist Kudsi Erguner and his band take center stage. Erguner plays the ney, the classical Turkish reed flute, and worked in the past with Peter Gabriel, Peter Brook and Michel Portal among others. His music can also be heard in the film “The Last Temptation of Christ.”
The program continues on a classical note with the national orchestra of Lille conducted by Jean-Claude Casadesus. Completed by a Paris choir, they will perform Verdi’s requiem on July 17 and Berlioz’ “Nuits d’Ete” and “Symphonie Fantastique” on July 18.
On July 20 and 21, the legendary Myriam ‘Mama Africa’ Makeba will do a double concert with hip Cuban diva Albita.
Following the overwhelming success of the three sold-out concerts last year, Lebanon’s own diva Fairouz will return to the Chouf on July 27, 28 and 31. She will again be accompanied by her son Ziad Rahbany.
On August 3 and 4 the famous New York Kronos string quartet will perform. Known for their unique experimental sound, the Kronos quartet will be completed by Jihad Ali Racy on Turkish flute and Suhail Kaspar on tablah. They will perform “Ecstasy,” a Sufi composition of love by Ali Racy.
Finally, from August 10 to 14, the festival’s grand finale will be reserved for the musical the “Notre Dame de Paris.” A modern-day adaptation of Victor Hugo’s timeless tale of Esmarala and Quasimodo, this piece has so far attracted some two million spectators world wide – Albawaba.com